5/22 Acts 13:46

46 And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles."

Paul always looked for a synagogue to begin his witness of Jesus in a city. The Jews had the Scriptures, which gave them a background of morals and the words of the prophets. Jews kept the record of the one true God and His dealings with man. For that reason among others, they would be elder material for a new church. Paul was following the example of Jesus, witnessing to the Jew first and then to the Gentile.

Paul often found the synagogue leaders would oppose him. After all, their leadership in Jerusalem had Jesus crucified. Paul's teaching was in line with much of their expectation of a Messiah but certainly not all of what they believed He would accomplish. That would take place at the Second Coming. The Jews of Paul's day thought it would somehow all take place at once or that the Scriptures referred to two individuals who would come at the same time.

It was Paul's turning to the Gentiles that really set the stage for an angry division. Some Gentiles would listen to Jewish teaching at the synagogue. They were called "God fearers." Paul drew these Gentiles away and taught them that they could be made right with God through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. They did not need to keep the Laws of Moses, for that was a covenant with children of Abraham. The emphasis now was on walking in the Spirit. This aroused the jealousy of the Jewish leadership that often chased Paul out of town. By the time that happened, a church had already been established.

Consider: Paul proclaimed the message and defended the truth of it. Then he spent the majority of his time establishing those who believed. That is a good guideline for us all. Are you training someone in the Word?